When it comes to choosing an insulation product, many contractors and builders choose a product based on thermal performance, but there are many other factors that should be considered, including acoustic performance; which can improve the health and well being of a building’s occupants.
Over the last few years, there has been a real push on the thermal performance of properties, which has consequently led builders and contractors to choose insulation that both prevents heat from escaping and contributes to lower energy bills. However, recently the focus has changed; many companies and manufacturers are now looking at how products actually affect the health and well being of occupants, with a strong emphasis placed on acoustics.
According to the World Health Organisation, excessive noise can seriously harm human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, work and at home. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.
As such, ensuring good acoustic performance of insulation products is critical to prevent unwanted noise passing into adjoining rooms – or even properties. Indeed, sound from noisy neighbours, TVs or speaker systems can be a nuisance for occupants if walls aren’t sufficiently insulated.
There are many products on the market that can improve the acoustic performance of properties, including Isover’s range of specialist glass mineral wool acoustic insulation, which is manufactured to the optimum density for effectively dampening sound and reducing noise transfer across walls and floors. It is also available in thicknesses and widths that have been designed specifically for residential applications, ensuring effective performance and easier to install solutions.
What’s more, Isover’s range can also surpass the Building Regulations. For example, the minimum requirement for a separating wall in a new dwelling in England and Wales is to reduce airborne sound by 45 dB (DnT,w + Ctr). Building to any of Isover’s tried and tested proprietary Robust Details (e.g. E-WM-17, E-WM-20 or E-WM-24) will achieve airborne sound reduction of at least 50 dB (DnT,w + Ctr), which represents a significant improvement beyond building regulations. This will have a meaningful positive impact on the acoustic comfort of the building residents.
And when it comes to internal walls, the most effective way for installers to combat the transfer of noise is to build a lightweight partition (either timber or metal stud), consisting of two sheets of plasterboard with a layer of acoustic insulation, such as Isover APR, sandwiched in between. Although the Building Regulations state that a requirement of 40 dB (Rw) is mandatory, by using a mass-spring-mass partition construction it is easy for housebuilders and developers to increase it to 45 dB (Rw) or even 50 dB (Rw) (where loud speech can not be heard between rooms). Achieving these high levels of sound reduction will positively impact how the end users will use the home in the future, without impacting others.
With the above in mind, it is without a doubt that installers and designers should be making the right decisions about acoustic insulation during the early stages of a development to eliminate the need for costly retrofits; it is also an effective method to future proof a building. What’s more, it will also make a significant improvement in terms of creating a peaceful environment for building occupants, to allow them to live the way they want to in their home, without the worry of noise travelling from room to room, or house to house.
For more information please visit www.soundgoodfactor.co.uk